Resemble Grease

Jim Sabol

Guys, what product (paint, stain, blackener, . . . ) would best represent the greasy look under the switch points of a well maintained turnout; or around journal boxes, for that matter? Thanks.

Todd Sullivan

Hi Jim,

I have used Polly Scale acrylic or a craft brand of acrylic: the color I have used is nearly black - mixed as black with a bit of brown or dark red added, and I blend it outward from the switch point area into the neighboring rail, ballast and ties. 

I usually work from photos if at all possible, so I airbrush the flex track that I use with a mix that is close to the predominant tie color, and paint the sides of the rail, all surfaces of guard rails and most surfaces of turnout frogs a color that matches the predominant rail color once the track is installed.  After all this, and after the turnouts are installed and the ballast is down, then I will paint the point area of turnouts, since this is a detail.  If you use joint bars cemented to the side of the rails, check photos for their color, as it often varies from the rail color.

Todd Sullivan